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Proposal to Ban Assault Weapons in Florida Fails to Make Ballot

first_imgFlorida voters will not have the opportunity to vote in this year’s election on whether assault weapons should be banned.A proposed ban did not receive the 766,200 signatures it needed to be placed on the ballot.Supporters of the measure say they are now focusing their efforts on putting the question to voters in the 2022 election. The group that is pushing the petition — Ban Assault Weapons Now — collected 145,000 verified signatures during the past year. The deadline for the signature requirement was February 1.“Despite the best efforts of the NRA and politicians in Tallahassee to place obstacles in our path, we will continue our fight to save lives by working hard to ensure voters have the final say over their safety in 2022,” Gail Schwartz, Ban Assault Weapons Now’s chairwoman, says in a prepared statement.The proposal calls for banning the sale of semiautomatic rifles and shotguns capable of holding more than 10 bullets. That policy would include weapons like the AR-15 rifle.The statewide campaign formed following the 2018 Parkland shooting.However, the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature has been unwilling to hear bills that would ban the weapons.last_img read more

FCPB expresses delight at league commencement

first_imgHeadline sponsor of the Ghana Premier League First Capital Plus Bank has expressed delight at the commencement of the league.The league will start on Sunday January 18, 2015 after a three (3) month-long delay following a legal tussle involving the Ghana Football Association and Kumasi-based King Faisal Babes Football Club.At the official launch of the new season at the Ghana Football Association’s head office in Accra on Wednesday, Nana Yaw Kesse, Head of Marketing and Cooperate Affairs at First Capital Plus bank said they are excited that the league will be kicking off this weekend.“As a bank we are excited that after the long delay the league is set to kick-off. First Capital Plus Bank would like to ask for the support of the media especially, to help promote the league.“We believe it is by virtue of the media hype that the league will retain the required the status and the positive reportage that will help see more energy and excitement for the league,” he added.  Ahead of the start of the League, Premier League Board Chairman, Mr. Welbeck Abra-Appiah has announced key innovations that will be introduced in the new season. These innovations include the introduction of a Competition Management System which will help in gathering data of goals scored, cautions, assists and other statistics.last_img read more

Lakers’ 114-109 over Atlanta shows plenty of positive signs

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error ATLANTA >> The Lakers needed to clear the air. So they worked their frustration over their league-worst defense into having an extended film session, both to watch and talk about their problems.The Lakers needed some energy. So as Nick Young returned after sitting out the past six weeks with a surgically repaired right thumb, he playfully talked trash with his teammates by proclaiming himself as the best all-time 3-point shooter. The Lakers also needed a win. So they ensured a 114-109 victory on Tuesday over the Atlanta Hawks (5-5) at Philips Arena by outlining a blueprint lacking in their four-game losing streak. In what marked the Lakers’ first road win, they provided an offense that went beyond Kobe Bryant shooting at a high volume. His 28 points on an efficient 10-of-18 shooting represented a strong supporting cast that also included Carlos Boozer (20 points), Jordan Hill (18 points), Young (17 points) and Jeremy Lin (15 points, 10 assists). “It’s like my swag rubbed off on everybody,” Young said afterward. “It’s unbelievable.” “The question to the guys was, ‘Are we asking you to do things that are impossible for you to do,’” Scott recalled. “‘Or are there things you have to think about too much? Because we’ll try to simplify everything as much as possible.’ The answer they gave was no. It’s not impossible and not difficult. When you say that, I’m anxious to see how we play tonight.”It turns out Lakers guard Ronnie Price both spearheaded the meeting and represented the lone player who talked.“Everyone shares things differently each time,” Price said. “I just talked about the same things we’ve been talking about for the past four weeks.”That entailed both guards and frontcourt players equally communicating on defense. Granted, the Lakers still allowed Atlanta to shoot 47 of 57 from the field. The Hawks also stormed out of the third quarter with a 13-0 run. Bryant also delayed in contesting Pero Antic’s missed 3-pointer that could have tied the game. But the Lakers still held Atlanta in the first quarter with a season-low 20 points. The Lakers also limited the Hawks to only two field goals in the final two minutes. What triggered the change?“The fact I told them that if they didn’t play, I would take them out,” Scott said. “That had something to do with it.” It also helped Bryant still led the way, becoming the fourth player to reach 32,000 points along with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone and Michael Jordan. Bryant provided a left hook shot that put the Lakers up 105-100 with 2:30 left. Bryant then drew a foul on a patented 20-foot fade-away, a three-point play that extended the lead to 108-102 with 1:11 remaining and sparked the partisan Lakers’ crowd into endless “Kobe” chants.“That’s my job,” said Bryant. He was then asked if his high-volume shooting stemmed from remaining only 292 points from eclipsing Jordan for third place on the league’s all-time scoring list. “There’s always something,” Bryant said. “I’m not going to waste my time trying to shut people up.”Instead, the Lakers spent their time making the small but significant first step into climbing out of the Western Conference cellar. center_img Young’s return to the lineup injected all sorts of energy. He provided the Lakers (2-9) a definitive scoring option to complement Bryant. Young also lightened the Lakers’ mood with his playful personality that included plenty of smiles and trash talk. That partly entailed Young ranking himself ahead of Ray Allen, Reggie Miller, either Golden State’s Stephen Curry or Klay Thompson and Larry Bird as the best 3-point shooter. “It lifts the spirit of the guys,” Bryant said of Young’s presence. “It keeps things light. I think it’s great. That’s great leadership from that standpoint.”Yet, the Lakers positive presence also traces elsewhere. The Lakers’ worst start in franchise history had looked so abysmal through three weeks that they have already resorted to something most teams have during a moment of crisis. They held a meeting.Granted, Lakers coach Byron Scott stressed the dialogue took place in on Monday evening in what he called “a normal film session.” But the circumstances changed. In normal cases, Scott said his film sessions entail reviewing both offensive and defensive plays. On Monday night, Scott held a film session he described as “long” that solely entailed the Lakers’ defense, which has averaged a league-worst 112 points per game.last_img read more

Sugar dispute another manifestation of the Administration’s misadventure in sugar

first_imgDear Editor,The GAWU has seen, in several sections of the media, reports regarding the status of the $30 billion bond that was secured by the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) to recapitalise the estates under the stewardship of the Guyana Sugar Corporation Inc (GuySuCo).The bond had come into being after the seemingly clandestine transfer of the Corporation’s shares, among other things, to the Government’s holding company.The March 29, 2018 Stabroek News reported that the Special Purpose Unit (SPU) of NICIL, which apparently was instrumental in the bond’s birthing, said it would “…provide a much-needed capital injection, support infrastructure maintenance… and develop new co-generation capacity to support estate operations and sell to the national power grid”.Our Union, as a concerned stakeholder, after learning about the bond through media reports, sought an audience with NICIL-SPU and the GuySuCo regarding its plans for the large sum it was intent at that time to borrow. At an April 19, 2018 meeting with officials of the sugar corporation and the SPU, the GAWU learnt that monies were earmarked towards improving cane production and productivity, as well as enhancing factory operations. Sums, we were told too, were identified for ventures into electricity generation and plantation white sugar.The GAWU, at that time, while welcoming the ideas, did express concern that it appeared there was no firm plan to guide how the monies that would be secured would finally be spent. To that end, we urged NICIL-SPU and the GuySuCo to collaborate on working out the finer details of that plan. We even went as far as offering views to allow for a more rounded and well-thought-out road map.Notwithstanding what we felt was a valuable suggestion, the bodies charged with managing the affairs of the sugar industry have apparently not worked out a proper and workable plan. That suggestion, we must add, the GAWU has reiterated on many occasions.We should not fail to add that Finance Minister Winston Jordan, responding to questions posed to him in Parliament by the Opposition, did say that a plan was worked out. We, sadly, have to say that we take the Minister’s utterances with a pinch of salt; as, if such a plan does really exist, it must be the most closely-guarded secret in the history of Guyana.Moreover, had such a plan really been a reality, the lamentations by NICIL’s Head (ag), Mr Colvin Heath-London, and the responses by the Corporation’s CEO, Dr Harold Davis Jr, we believe would not have been heard. Undoubtedly, the plan, among other things, would have clearly set out the parameters for disbursements and accountability.Rather than ironing out these matters very early on, we see the apparent chasms rising to the surface, and complaints and disagreements between NICIL-SPU and GuySuCo appearing ever so often.Also of concern to us is that, so far, though roughly a quarter of the bond has been disbursed, no tangible progress has been seen. We recall that the Leader of the Opposition, Bharrat Jagdeo, had previously expressed concern about the lag between implementation and securing of the funds, and the heavy interest costs that would have to be borne in the intervening period.From all appearances, the Opposition Leader was right; as NICIL, according to the media, will channel to the bondholders several hundred million dollars in interest, while the specific capital which was to work to secure the industry’s viability, it seems, appears nowhere on the horizon.Concerns, we see too, were expressed by NICIL regarding the probability of default. This is something that is not in our interest, especially considering that the bond has essentially mortgaged the assets of the Guyanese people. For current and future generations of Guyanese, this would be an unwelcome disaster.The entire imbroglio that is unfolding we see as yet another manifestation of the Administration’s misadventure and undoubted poor policy making regarding the sugar industry; which will further negatively impact national interests. As we well know, the Government’s action and/or inaction regarding the industry has been one of the more difficult times of our nation’s recent history. It is a period which has seen the largest retrenchment exercise in Guyana’s history, and a period that has brought about tremendous hardship and grave difficulty for thousands of Guyanese people of varying walks of life.Yours faithfully,Seepaul NarineGeneral SecretaryGAWUlast_img read more